Orange County News Roundup Feb. 17

February 17, 2016 Updated: February 17, 2016

Bonacic Secures $75,000 for Mt. Hope Sewage Upgrades

 Sen. John Bonacic announced on Feb. 11 that Mt. Hope will receive $75,000 from the state Municipal Grant program for upgrades at the Hidden Valley Sewage Treatment Plant. The town will use the grant to install a new decholoration system to help reduce residual chlorine levels, and install an ultraviolet lighting system to also help eliminate chlorination. “Ensuring that residents have access to safe, quality drinking water is a top priority for municipal officials, and by making these improvements, the Town of Mount Hope is committed to protecting its people,” Bonacic said. Town Supervisor Chad Volpe expressed his thanks on behalf of residents. “Senator Bonacic has done it again by securing a $75,000.00 grant for the much-needed upgrades to the hidden valley sewer district.”

Valley Central School District Loses Aid

An unfortunate late submission of several project cost reports has led to the loss of $929,000 in state aid to the Valley Central School District, reported the Wallkill Valley News. The online news service reported that Assistant Superintendent for Business Lisa Raymond told the Board of Education on Feb. 8 that one more report needed to be sent out. Litigation is pending from a contractor who went out of business. “I’m having trouble having confidence in what’s been done,” said board member Frances Fox-Pizzonia. “Is there a checklist? I don’t understand the system that’s in place. Where’s the checks and balances?”

Possible Wallkill Waterpark in the Offing

A local developer has purchased a more than 40-acre parcel of land on East Main Street in Wallkill for construction of a future indoor waterpark. According to the MidHudsonNews, “town officials have been lobbying waterpark operators in Wisconsin to consider Wallkill for a park and even took a delegation to the Badger State and invited a group to come east to check out Wallkill.” Wisconsin waterpark operators have been recognized for superior waterpark facilities. “This looks like it would be a collaborative private effort and would be a local success story or someone partnering up with the people that we were able to put them in connection with out in Wisconsin and someone in Wisconsin who has been very successful in the indoor waterpark community bringing the tools, skills and resources here,” Depew said to MidHudsonNews.

Greenwood Lake Gets $75,000 State Grant for Sidewalks, Retaining Wall

Greenwood Lake will receive $75,000 through the state Municipal Grant program to construct sidewalks and retaining walls along Waterstone Road, reported the MidHudsonNews. Currently, a bridge sidewalk ends, and pedestrians must walk on the road on a blind curve, creating a safety issue and dangerous conditions. “The shovel ready sidewalk project will make one of the largest safety improvements in well over 10 years for our village,” said Mayor Jesse Dwyer to the online news media.

Port City Hit with Tax Cap Mandates

Members of the Port Jervis Common Council told the Pike County Dispatch that the state has mandated a a cap on tax increases of .12 percent. The council discussed a local law at the Feb. 8 meeting that would override the cap but tabled the law’s adoption.

Council Finance Committee Chairman Frank Bell told the Dispatch that “it was bad enough that state lowered the cap, but we then got a directive from the New York Department of Transportation (NYDOT) that we had to perform a city audit [related to the proposed Neversink Bridge replacement and road widening project.] Our auditing company estimated that the audit would cost $2,500 for each year. That $5,000 cost exceeds the amount we are allowed to increase in taxes [this year]. We have been getting mandates from the state for four years to cover costs, such as health insurance for our workers, but the state has not given us any reimbursement.”

Montgomery Approves FedEx Facility

The Montgomery Planning Board approved a 248,000 square foot facility for FedEx on Feb. 8, reported the Wallkill Valley Times. The ground distribution facility on 44 acres on Neelytown Road will include 63 loading docks. The Planning Board reviewed its decision of a negative declaration as to SEQRA and grant the necessary approvals, as various items were called out for attention as conditions, from measures to ensure the project does not negatively affect the habitat of endangered species (Indiana bats are located within a mile of the site) to shielding neighbors from the noise of incessant backup alarms. FedEx agreed not to ask for tax incentives from the Industrial Development Agency.

Wallkill Seeks Interested Companies to Manage Campground

Wallkill’s Korn Campground in Howells received a walkthrough from four campground managing companies that are interested in a bid to manage, reported the MidHudsonNews. The Korn family sold the 75-acre campground along the Wallkill River to the town for $680,000. A mandatory walk-through on Feb. 12 was led by town supervisor Dan Depew. “One thing that everyone kept saying as they were walking the place was how beautiful it was and we feel very confident that one of those four will end up with the winning request for proposals that we are looking to open on March 2nd,” he told MidHudsonNews. Depew would like to open the campground for the summer.

Explosion Injures Two Workers at Fire Extinguisher Factory

State police say two workers from a fire extinguisher factory are hospitalized with severe leg injuries caused by an explosion. Troopers say 23-year-old Frank Buono of Goshen and 35-year-old Christopher Foust of Warwick were hurt in the accident at Oprandy’s Fire Equipment in the Town of Wallkill on Feb. 12. State and local police responding to the scene used tourniquets on both men’s legs while waiting for emergency medical technicians to arrive. The men were flown by helicopter to Westchester Medical Center, where they were listed in serious condition Friday afternoon. Troopers say Foust was filling a fire extinguisher with air when the tank ruptured, causing the explosion and injuries.

From The Associated Press

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